The Maid

Once, there lived a beautiful and proud lady. One day, she thought of finding a husband for herself. She thought, ‘The man who wants to marry me should be young, polite, calm and supportive. He must also have rank, wealth and wit to match my graceful personality.’

It was difficult to find so many qualities in one person. However, proposals from able suitors poured in. The proud lady found no one suitable for her. One had a nose too short or long! The other was too dull or stupid! She mocked, “What fine suitors! Poor souls! I pity them.” She rejected all the men she had met.

She tried to console herself, ‘I will not regret not marrying any one of these unworthy men. I am content being counted among the most beautiful women in history!’ Time passed. The lady’s beauty faded away. She lost the grace she once had. She realised her folly and wanted to marry soon. But, now no one offered to marry her. She got so scared with the thought of living alone that she finally married a disabled man.

To judge people by looks is wrong. Looks do not stay forever.

The Heron

One day, a beautiful Heron was walking by the side of the river. He had a long slender neck, which held his long sharp beak as a weapon to pierce through the fish. The river was full of a variety of fish like the Carp, the Pike, the Tench and many more. It was so easy to catch fish there that the Heron could have made great profits if he were in the fishing trade!

The Heron, however, did not find those fish suitable for eating. ‘What are Carp or Pike or Tench for a Heron! I can’t eat such mean little fish,” said the Heron. He, then, saw a Snail approaching and got furious at its sight. “I will never open my beak if the Gods offer me such miserable food,” he said, proudly.

After some time, the fish in the river died, from some mysterious disease. The Heron did not get a single fish to eat now He got very hungry and wished he could get anything to eat. So much so, that the once fussy Heron was happy to see a snail and quietly ate it!

If you are proud and choosy in life, you may lose even the simple things.

The Mouse that Retired from the World

Once, there was a Mouse who had many problems in his life. He left his native place and went to live in Holland. There, he got plenty to eat. He worked hard and built a house for himself. He also stored a lot of

1 food to make his old age comfortable. He grew fair, fat and round.

In Holland, the Mouse lived all alone and as a hermit. There, he came be known as a religious and kind Mouse.

One day, a delegation from the United Council of Mice was on its way to foreign countries. The delegates were on the holy mission of the Great Cat War. They were out to seek aid for their poor Republic in its fight against the Cats.

The delegates also approached the Mouse for help. “Dear friends,” said the Mouse, “I am no more concerned with the things of the world, now How can a poor and lonely person like me be of any help to you? I can only pray for you and that I will.”

Saying this, the Mouse shut the door on them.

You cannot be a good person if you do not help your own family and neighbours.

The Two Goats

Long ago, there lived two Goats. One had curly  horns. The other had straight horns. They looked for fresh grass, which shepherds had not used for their sheep. The Goats were never afraid to cross high mountains or streams.

One day, the Goats went to find grass, each in one direction. Both found lovely fresh meadows. The Curly-

horn Goat wanted to tell his friend about his meadow. The Straight-horn Goat, too, wanted to do the same. They started to look for the other.

Suddenly, the Curly-horn Goat saw a rushing stream, with a narrow bridge across it. He began to cross the bridge.

Just then, the Straight-horn Goat also reached the same stream, from the other side. He also saw the narrow bridge and stepped on it.

Suddenly, both the Goats looked up. They saw each other!

Now, the bridge was too narrow for both the Goats to cross at the same time. One Goat had to go back for the other to pass! But both the Goats stood firm. Each Goat wanted the other to move back.

They started nudging each other, quite hard. Sadly, they both fell into the stream and drowned.

Be kind and give others a chance.

A Lion, a Mouse and a Cat

Once upon a time, there lived a mighty Lion in a cave on top of a mountain. Whenever he went to sleep, a Mouse used to come out of his hole and nibble at his mane.

As soon as the Lion woke up, the Mouse would run away and slip off into his hole. The Lion was very angry with the Mouse.

The Lion wanted to stop this and thought of an idea. He went to the nearby village and brought a Cat back with him.

The Lion fed the Cat well and let her loose in the cave. The Mouse saw the Cat and was frightened; he would not come out of his hole. The Lion was able to sleep, undisturbed as the Cat stood guard. This went on for some time. Then, one day, the Mouse was very hungry. He decided to risk his life and came out of his hole looking for food. The Cat pounced on him and killed him. When the Lion saw that the Mouse was dead, he stopped feeding the Cat. The poor Cat grew weaker and finally starved to death.

Treat everyone with respect, not only when you need their help.

A Crow, a Deer and a Jackal

Once upon a time, there lived two friends in a forest, a Deer and a Crow. One day, a Jackal saw the Deer and wanted to trick him. “I live alone and have no friends. May I be your friend?” asked the Jackal.

“Well, all right,” said the Deer.

The Crow was not happy as the Jackal was a total stranger and they did not know him, at all.

The Jackal showed the Deer a corn field. The Deer began going there, daily.

One day, the Deer was caught in a trap set by the farmer. The Jackal saw what had happened and thought, This is what I wanted.’

The Deer called out to the Jackal for help, but he pretended not to hear. In the morning, the farmer returned with a stick in his hand. The Deer lay still pretending to be dead. When the farmer saw the Deer, he thought it was dead and was very happy.

As soon as he undid the trap, the Deer jumped up and ran away as fast as he could.

The farmer threw his stick at him. It missed the Deer but struck the Jackal, who was watching, and killed him on the spot.

Do not trust strangers.

The Couple and Goddess Discord

Once, a Farmer lived with his Wife in a village. They loved each other and never fought.

One day, God threw out Goddess Discord from Heaven. The Goddess, whose name meant argument and quarrel, caused everybody in Heaven to fight and argue. God knew that if she stayed amongst them, all the people in Heaven would keep fighting.

Thus, Goddess Discord came down to live on the Earth. She entered the Farmer’s house and decided to live in it.

Soon, the couple started fighting over small things. They argued every day and the peace of the house was destroyed. One day, the Man decided to throw his Wife out of the house.

Discord was very happy with her success but God could not see the lovely couple separated. He sent the God of Marriage, Hymen, on Earth to settle the matter.

Hymen went to the couple and explained, “Your relationship is getting spoiled because Discord has entered your house. You should not leave space for any arguments and fights in your relationship.”

The couple understood and threw Goddess Discord out of their house. Since then, both of them lived in peace and harmony.

Discord can spoil all relationships.

The Man who fooled the King

Once, a Man lived in a country.

One day, he went to the King’s palace. He said, “I can train animals to speak wisely like men.” The King was very surprised and asked, “Can you train my Horse to speak like human beings?”

The Man thought for a minute and said, “Yes, I can! But, I will need ten years to do so.”

The King gave him a large tuition fee and sent the Horse with him.

A Courtier met the Man when he was leaving the palace with the Horse. He said, “It is impossible to teach a horse to speak like human beings. If you are unable to train him, the King will get you killed, immediately.”

The wise Man smiled and said, “The King has given me enough money to live in luxury for the rest of

my life. And Death cannot be controlled by anybody. One cannot guarantee if I, the King or the Horse will live for the next ten years. So, I want to be comfortable till I am alive!”

The Courtier was shocked and told the King about this Man’s plan. The King punished the man.

Too much cleverness may result in foolhardiness.

The True Friends

Once, two Friends lived in a city. They loved each other and shared their joys and sorrows. Their friendship was praised by everyone who knew them, “Look at them! What faithful friends!”

One night, one of the Friends was fast asleep in his house. Suddenly, he heard a knock on his door. He woke up with a start and looked outside his window. He saw his Friend banging on the outside door.

The first Friend ran down to the door and opened it.

“What’s wrong? Why are you here so late at night?” he asked.

“I needed to see you, urgently,” the second Friend said.

The first Friend asked,

“Has someone been troubling you? Tell me his name and I will kill him with my sword.”

His Friend replied, “No, no one has troubled me.” “Then, do you need money? I have silver and gold. How much do you need?”

The second Friend said, “No, my dear. I do not need your silver or gold. I saw a dream in which a bear had attacked you. I had to come and check, and see that you were all right.”

True friends always care for you.

The Bear and the Gardener

Once upon a time, there was a mountain Bear who lived in a cave in the forest. The forest had no other bears, so this Bear was all alone.

The Bear got used his lonely life. But he would sometimes miss having company.

`I will go and look for some friends,’ the Bear thought.

After a while, the Bear saw, from afar, an old Gardener who also lived alone. He would spend time with his flowers whenever he got lonely. The Bear was excited to find a friend. However, he was afraid that the Gardener would get scared of him. So, he put on a mask.

The Gardener mistook him for another man. “Welcome to my home. I am a lonely man. It would be nice if you could stay with me,” the Gardener said. The Bear and the Gardener were happy to live with each other.

However, one day, the Bear saw a beehive on a tree in the garden. He climbed up the tree and broke the hive. The angry bees attacked him and the Gardener. The Bear ran away to the forest but the poor Gardener was badly hurt!

It is better to be alone than to have foolish friends.